Treasure Island

Kgomotso G Daweti

(30 April 1997 / South Africa)

A Message To My Father, Mandela


This is a Message to You, Father,
Father of my Nation
Whence we were all filled with joy and ululation
Whence we were all united, sole, where Segregation,
was not
The times where we thought that
we'll never part
When we thought we could, together, build up a mount so fine
but now I ask why, why,
oh father, do we have to suffer,
Why do we have to fight this losing war
The sores and wounds deep
but yet they bore and
bore and
bore and
bore
trying to reach the core
Trying to gain that control and power, but yet Father!
Madiba!
Tata!
Khulu!
Dalibhunga! You,
Wena uyiGorha
a mighty man
a man of strength
A man so immense in courage
Forgiving, never seeking revenge
Less than a God but yet so Great
A Mate, an Icon, A Giant, A Comrade
A Leader of the African National Congress,
A Founder of UmKhonto Wesizwe
A President, A Politician, A Xhosa
A Friend, A Father,
One who imbued his best
Individual hence his quest was achieved by you
And you
And you.
Time has Passed, the Message Left,
We Thank You and
Plead you Rest.

Submitted: Friday, December 06, 2013
Edited: Friday, December 06, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This is a Poem I wrote to Mourn the loss in My Country, South Africa. The passing of The Father of the Nation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. This is not for Commerecial Enterprise, but to remind us all about how this great man lead an example on what Morals and Principles we should all live our lives following. This is a message to celebrate his life but not how it was lived. To mourn the Loss but Celebrate the Legacy he left behind.

Madiba – This is the name of the clan of which Mr Mandela is a member. A clan name is much more important than a surname as it refers to the ancestor from which a person is descended. Madiba was the name of a Thembu chief who ruled in the Transkei in the 18th century. It is considered very polite to use someone’s clan name.

Tata – This isiXhosa word means “father” and is a term of endearment that many South Africans use for Mr Mandela. Since he is a father figure to many, they call him Tata regardless of their own age.

Khulu – Mr Mandela is often called “Khulu”, which means great, paramount, grand. The speaker means “Great One” when referring to Mr Mandela in this way. It is also a shortened form of the isiXhosa word “uBawomkhulu” for “grandfather”.

Dalibhunga – This is the name Mr Mandela was given at the age of 16 once he had undergone initiation, the traditional Xhosa rite of passage into manhood. It means “creator or founder of the council” or “convenor of the dialogue”. The correct use of this name when greeting Mr Mandela is “Aaah! Dalibhunga”.

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